The Idaho Department of Labor is on target to eliminate all paper checks by June 30.
The department announced May 26 it would begin phasing in debit cards as an option for paying unemployment benefits. The department already offers payment by direct deposit, which will continue.
In the first two weeks after the announcement, the number of claimants choosing direct deposit jumped from 25 percent to 35 percent, spokesman Bob Fick said.
Using debit cards instead of mailing checks will save the department about $130,000 a year, Fick said. The cards are being used in about 30 U.S. states and are planned, or are being tested, in almost all the rest of the U.S. states.